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Rise & Rise Again

but if we die at the same time does it still scare you?

"Austin!" I giggled, pulling at the small black bandanna that I had covering my eyes, trying to see wherever the man was taking me. Austin just laughed and swatted at my hands, also trying to keep both of his hands on the steering wheel of the small rental car he got for the both of us. It was the first of one of our off days, and Austin had promised to take me somewhere fabulous. I had no clue where, since the sounds of traffic and the radio station were blocking all the sounds out.

"Zoe, if you don't stop," Austin playfully threatened, swatting at my hand with one hand while he kept the other on the steering wheel. I stick my tongue out at him, but keep my hands in my lap, latched onto his left hand while the other keeps a grip on the wheel. I feel Austin's eyes as he looks away from the Australian traffic at me, before pulling my hand to his lips to kiss the knuckles softly.

There's another five minutes of us in the car, the radio playing some song I've never heard before, before I hear a small squeak of the breaks of the car and we roll to a stop. Austin pulls my hand from his to put the car in park and pull the key from the ignition. I sit there, fiddling with my fingers.

"Can I-"

"No," Austin answers sternly, not even letting me finish my question. I decide to mess with him.

"What if I was asking to suck you off?"

Austin stills, knowing I'm in one of my playful moods. They're few and far between, but Austin never misses a chance to let me be flirty.

"Later," he whispers in my ear, surprising me with how close he was. I didn't hear him move. Austin kisses my cheek. "Right now, I'm going to let us have an awesome afternoon full of fun."

I just smile. Austin gets out of the car and pulls me out, making sure the bandana is on tight, before we start to walk. After about thirty feet, Austin stops, and the sounds of waves and shore birds fill my ears. I smile, the anticipation of finally being at a beach once again making me anxious. The first time I ever went to the beach with Austin, it had been in thirteenth birthday. His mom and dad had taken us and two other friends of ours for the day and camped out on the shore after building a big bonfire and making s'mores. Matt, one of our friends, ended up getting sick so his mom had to come pick him up a little before midnight. The next morning Austin's dad woke us up to watch the sun rise and then gave us a beginner lesson on how to surf.

Over the years, Austin and I learned to surf together, getting better and better and the last day of the summer we would have a little "friendly" competition of who could catch the most waves. Of the four years we had the competition, three of those summers I won. Austin let me win. I was never good at keeping my balance.

"You know where we are, huh?" Austin asks, and I can the smirk in his voice. I give him no time to stop me before snatching the bandanna off. Austin groans, guessing his surprise was ruined. Standing in front of us, just ten feet past the sidewalk where the sandy beach starts, are two surf boards and two wet suits. I jump up and down before running forward to grab the women's dark purple one and the black and lime green surfboard. Austin jogs up from behind me.

"Ready to test out those skills, Zee?"

I laugh and shake my head. "No. I haven't surfed in almost two years. I'm going to wipe out in ten seconds."

Austin just smiles and wraps an arm around my shoulders after picking up his wet suit and surfboard.

"You'll probably do a whole lot better than me then, Zee. I'll probably catch a wave and wipe out the second I stand."

I just laugh at him. Always trying to one me up...

When the dry, soft sand finally meets the wet, packed sand of the shore, Austin and I pull our clothes off, revealing our simple black swim suits. We pull the wet suits on, both fitting our bodies tight and snugly. I had a bit more trouble than Austin did since the front zipper wasn't wanting to go over my bust. Big boobs problems.

I suck in one deep breath and give the zip a strong tug. It flies up and hits the blocker; the metal clicks to let me know I've completed my task. I look up at Austin, moving my hands down my body to make sure there aren't any weird creases or wrinkles that could cause discomfort. The aroused expression on Austin's face surprises me; by the way he bites his lip and the dark sparkle in his eye makes me blush and grab my surfboard.

"C'mon, monkey man. Let's go show these Aussie's how to surf American style."

I grab his hand, trying to not get too turned on by the way he's looking at me, but his hair keeps falling in his face and the bit of scruff he has going on is turning me on. I always liked him with a little bit of scruff; it brought out his handsome features.

Austin and I parted as soon as the waves hit our toes. I had a running start, grabbing the board and jumping on as the board begins to float out into the ocean. I paddle my arms, going past the few smaller waves, already feeling my purple hair getting soaked and sticking to my face. At times like these I wished I had brought a band to pull it back. I glance back to look for Austin, and find him barely a foot away from the tail of my board, about four feet to the right. He smiles at me.

We spend the afternoon, all the way up until dinner time surfing and playing in the sand. After we've dried off, and washed the sandy mess out of my hair, Austin runs off for about ten minutes to return the wet suits and surfboards. He returns with his clothes back on, mine also covering my bikini, a grin on his face and gives me a quick kiss.

"Ellie, look, it's them!"

I glance to our right, familiar with such an exclamation. The click of a camera is also a sign of it. Two teenage girls, one with bright blonde hair and the other with two-toned blue, are standing about twenty feet away holding their phones up, both wearing some form of a band shirt. The one with the two-toned hair pulled her blonde friend over, still holding her phone tight in her hand, obviously taking pictures of Austin and I. Why couldn't they have been here before we started surfing and when my hair wasn't a mess?

"Oh my gosh, you're Austin Carlile and Zoe X! We saw you guys at SoundWave yesterday, it was amazing! Can we please get pictures with you?"

Before we could really agree, or decline, the blue haired girl thrust herself between us and smiled as her blonde friend took the picture. She grabbed her phone as soon as it was taken and looked at the picture, squealing happily. She pushed her blonde friend, I believe her name being Ellie, between us and snapped a quick picture before thanking us and running off.

This has all happened in about a matter of two minutes. I looked up at Austin, trying to comprehend the eventful moment. Austin sheepishly shrugged.

"I have those kinds of fans. You just smile and take the picture."

"I'm just surprised she knew who I was," I mumbled and wrapped my arm back around his waist, letting him lead us in the direction of the dinner I know he had planned out. Austin chuckles and kisses my wet hair.

"You've interviewed tons of famous bands. And you have purple hair. You're not that hard to recognize after a few times of seeing you."

I just look up at him and stick out my tongue. He playfully snaps his bright white teeth at me, making me pull my tongue back in and purse my lips together. Austin grins his usual grin and, as I giggle, I hug his side.

We walk off the beach, putting our shoes back on, and continue down the street, past our car. I let Austin do as he pleases, but when he pulls me out into oncoming traffic to cross the street, that's where I get a little worried.

"Austin Robert! You're going to get us killed if you don't watch where you're going!"

"I'm going to get you killed no matter what I do," Austin jokes, running across the street in front of a large delivery truck, again. I scream and try to keep up, but his long legs are faster than mine.

"Austin!" I gasp, letting go of his hand and leaning against the side of the building that we first came to. I felt like I was going to be sick. Austin rubs my back softly as my heart's beating slows to normal. The adrenaline rush I had from running out in oncoming traffic eases away slowly. I look up at him; he's wearing a sheepish look, obviously sorry that he scared me. Austin leans down to kiss my cheek and whisper an apology.

"I'm sorry, Zoe, love. I didn't mean to scare you."

I just nod and take a few deep breaths, my hands no longer shaking. "Just don't let it happen again."


"Brad!" I yelled, angry as I read over the memo that had been sitting on my desk for the last week while I had been in Australia. I heard him yell from his office three doors over. The others in the large area, mostly hanging around cubicles looking over interviews and pictures, looked up, getting ready for another one of our spats.

I charged from my office and into his, slamming the door closed behind me. He look up from his computer, a stern look on his face. The paper cracked as I balled in with my hand.

"What, Zoe?"

"What the hell is this?" I yelled, holding the paper up. He rolled his eyes.

"I don't know. What does it say? I haven't been in your office since you left."

I growled, trying to keep my composure but all the nonsense he had me do in Australia came rolling back through my head and the anger I had felt then was back. I needed a punching bag and his face was the prefect shape for my fist to dig into, too. Keeping the space between his face and my fist a good ten feet, I uncrumble the paper and read from the typed-printed text.

"'As of February twentieth,' the day I left for Soundwave," I spit, glaring at Brad before going back to the memo. "'All employees of Storm TV will be required to pay for their own transportation to and from any events that they have been assigned. If employees are unable to pay and fail to make the deadline for the material they are assigned, strict consequences will be enforced and may result in the immediate termination of the employee's contract as well as with-holding their final paycheck until all bills for any transportation, after the effective date, have been paid. Thank you for your cooperation, Bradley Oswell, Head Executive of' this is a complete bullshit company! I can't pay for all those flights and you know it, Brad!"

Brad just looked over his reading glasses at me, and then down to the paper that was beginning to rip from being clutched between my two hands.

"Well, it seems that we need to review your contract and go through the process of terminating your employment with us."

I simply stand there, aghast that after over six years of working as one of their top interviewers, this is happening. Is this really happening?

"Don't worry about that. I quit."

Somehow my interview badge is thrown at his face - the face I want to punch so badly and skin the flesh off of and pry his eyes out and shove the memo into his skull and -

I bypass my office, bypass the starstruck cubicle workers, bypass Nick as he's coming out of the video editing room, holding his own memo, the fear of debt hanging over his shoulders. He just started working here and already he's going to lose his job.

The executive office of Storm TV is just a faint memory as I climb into my car. The keys are in the ignition, but I haven't turned on the engine. I simply stare at the steering wheel, stare at the gauges on the dash, stare at the numbers as my life slowly begins to spiral down into the dark void of debt.

Somehow my phone is pressed to my ear as I'm calling Austin. He's the only one that can calm me down. I know it's probably the middle of the night right now, and he's probably at some after party since they still have another week in Australia for Soundwave. I was only to stay for the first two shows and during the off days so I could get all the interviews I needed.

"Hey, Zoe, it's Adam. Austin's passed out."

I sigh, knowing the sound of when someone is drunk off their ass, and Adam is definitely far gone. I'm surprised he was even able to answer the phone.

"Can you wake him up for me? This is really important."

"Yeah, hold on."

I hear the phone be shoved in his pocket, and the sound of the fabric is loud in my ear. There's the faint words of Adam waking up Austin, Austin's own drunken grumbles to leave him alone, and the urgency in Adam's voice about my call. I only wait about three minutes before Austin has answered.

"Hey, baby, what's up?"

"Everything's going to shit, Austin." Somehow I'm suddenly crying, the overwhelming feeling of everything is slowly killing me. The day Austin gets back we had planned to get married, but was I ready? What if somewhere down the road I got pregnant again - could I go through all that again only to lose another child?

"Shh, Zoe, sweetie, calm down, hold on." He's trying to sober up, I know. The sounds in the hotel room are muffled and replaced by the soft sounds of Austin walking out onto the balcony. I hear Alan in the background yelling something, but can't make out the words. "What's wrong? Did Brad say something?"

I sob again and rest my head on the steering wheel, holding the phone to my ear as the other hangs loosely onto the wheel. "I quit."

"You what!"

"I quit," I say again, but softer. "When I got back there was a policy change that went into effect the day I left for Soundwave. We have to pay for all the plane rides and car rentals from now on, so now I owe Storm TV almost five thousand dollars in travel fees. Austin, I don't have five thousand dollars. I barely have enough money to pay the gas for my car. They were going to fire me since I can't pay and I couldn't have that on my resume, so I quit. What am I going to do?"

He sighs, and I can imagining him running a hand over his face and through his bed-messy hair.

"I'm sorry for calling so late, I know it's like after midnight there right now."

"It's three in the morning," he mumbles, but takes a deep breath. "Go home and stay there until I get back, okay? The spare key is taped on the inside of the mailbox. There's plenty of food and your clothes to last you the week until I get back. Can you do that for me, baby?"

"I miss you."

"I miss you too, Zoe. I'll be home before you know it, okay?"

I nod, not realizing he can't see me.

"I love you."

My heart breaks quietly, but I reply, "I love you too, Austin."

"I'll call you in a few hours after we get some sleep, okay?"


"Bye, baby, I'll call you."

"M'kay, bye."

We hang up, and I stare at the wheel again. After a full thirty seconds of getting my thoughts together, I start my car and go through the familiar motions of going back to my home that I had shared with Austin for over a year. It's been a long two months away from home, and I've missed it more than anything.


Listened to Austin's new radio show with Tallywood and Curlz while writing this. Good God, that man's voice. <3 Plus, they pick out really good music. (Which isn't too surprising seeing as two of them are in a band and the other is best friends with just about every rock band out there.)

(expect some smut/sex in the next chapter. I feel like writing it, yo.)


this is perfect. <3

christinaannxo christinaannxo

Just read the whole story in 2 hours cx its 12:30 in the morning and totally worth it xp

Aw! The nusery scene was sad :( but I can't wait for the marriage scene next!

amazing update! your writing is crazy! specially in this chapter! ;) ;)

taxigerm taxigerm

Oh hot damn. This chapter is fabulous Dahling. :3

WhiskeyPrincess WhiskeyPrincess